newzround

whassup!

it’s all go here at bphq and i’ll tell you why. firstly, i’ve posted page one of untitled ape’s epic adventure chapter two, and will be back to weekly posts (apart from when i go on holiday in two weeks) for the foreseeable.
as previously mentioned, chris sandwich is finished and is doing good business, so don’t forget to pick one up if you haven’t already- i dropped some in at OK Comics in Leeds, and they should be available at Orbital Comics in London now, and if not now, soon enough.
also brand new, the comix reader issue 2 is also hot off the presses, undoubtedly the best quid (yes, just a quid) you can spend on comics at the moment, another editorial triumph by Richard Cowdry, more details here.

lastly, comical animal, issue 4 is also just been made available online, and i’ve done something for it, the pun lovers guide to the british coastline. you pig lovers will know that i love a good pun, but unfortunately i couldn’t think of any good ones, so there’s seventeen ropey ones on there for you to spot. Richard Bruton has said nice things about it on the FP blog, and hopefully it will take off and be a success for good old Jim Medway.

p.s. the ghosts pic was an unfinished thing i was doing for the zine in a day at the IAPF the other week, i didnt have time to get it done before it went to print. never mind eh?

newz round

well, time moves along and i keep on drawing silly things. i have now finished chapter one of untitled ape’s epic adventure so now would be the ideal time to catch up if you need/ want to.
now that’s done, i’m gonna take a few weeks off before starting chapter 2, and work on my page for The Comix Reader issue 2, and i’m considering doing a minicomic for the alternative press fair. I’m also slowly beginning to get stuff together for the long-awaited follow up to Manly Boys, Comely Girls which i’m working on with Gareth Van Brookes.

whilst on the subject of webcomics, my old pal Hugh “Shug” Raine is also doing a weekly ongoing story in a similar vein to mine, By ‘eck!

chapter 1 begins!

another gentle reminder that every sunday* there will be a new page of untitled ape’s epic adventure over on banal pig funnies. unless something major happens, i won’t mention this again. you’re on your own now.

*unless i’ve got better things to do

untitled ape 3D

today i have made some models of untitled ape and untitled cat for reference, and as you can see i am an expert sculptor. work began in earnest on their epic adventure yesterday, and as previously mentioned i expect to start posting it mid to late january.

Stevo’s Review of the year 2010

Yes, the customary and traditional review of the year by me of the things that I have done, mostly ignoring cultural and social advances in the rest of the world (apologies in advance for loads of text and no pictures). The year started off disruptedly as we upped sticks from Bristol and moved to Leeds, firstly living with my mum and dad before getting our own place. Because of this I was doing bits and pieces, but not really committing to anything resembling a coherent book. As the weeks went on I was mindful of the fact that the web and mini comix thing was looming in march, and as I always like to put out something new for the big cons, I knocked up an office chair dog minicomic, packaged along with a fridge magnet. This sold about as well as a fart in a sock, and the day itself was disappointing, and this was to be the last web & mini comix thing, which went out on a bit of dull note. I always liked doing it, but I think the setup of having quite a high entrance fee which subsidised an overly expensive anthology was a mistake, especially as there are now a lot more similar events which are free to attend (and the anthologies have always been a bit shit). Anyway, it remains to be seen what will fill the gap around easter which the web and mini occupied for quite a few years.
So where are we now? April and May, again I was doing bits and pieces, a Mr Wobbles strip for tiesplanet.com which would end up in banal pig’s showcase, plus the strip for the comix reader which I was really pleased with and not only ruined the previous untitled cat strip I was doing (because it was similar but a lot better), but it became the basis for 2 pages in bp showcase and the epic tale I will be publishing online as I do it (more of which later…).
I was also trying to dip my toe into illustration work, which hasn’t gone that well so far, (so gizza illustration job) but I was doing drawings that were a bit different to the comic work, so I created an illustration section to display this stuff.
About this time Hugh “Shug” Raine and I did the Bradford Zine Fayre, which was a small event but we did alright, as each person took time to look around each table properly, which just doesn’t happen at bigger events. This cemented this idea with us of putting on a similar comics fair in leeds (also taking onboard the model of the alternative press fair in London) but having a vaguely northern agenda.
So while Me and Hugh were planning the coarser details of the Leeds Alternative Comics Fair, I decided on the format of my next publication, which became banal pig’s showcase. The original idea was to have a bit of prose and full page images mixed with strips, but that was partly because I didn’t have enough strips to fill a comic, but in the end it was quite liberating to start something and just working on it until I had enough stuff to finish it without everything exactly planned out. It was also nice to get back to simple black and white comics with a bit of cross hatching- I did mix it up with a bit of greyscale, but nothing like the scale of Ethel Sparrowhawk’s Terrible Hangover, it was really nice to scan something in and have it print-ready almost immediately.
So, into September and it was our big day, the first Leeds Alternative Comics Fair which was great, and ultimately really easy to organise (see the report here). We’re gonna do another one in spring all being well, so we’ll see if it was beginner’s luck or not.
October was Banal Pig Comics’ 5th anniversary, so I decided to do a few competitions to celebrate/ generate a bit of interest/ waste a bit of my money. I was finishing off bp showcase though, so the competitions waited til after Thought Bubble. It’s strange to think I have been doing this for 5 years, and although I’ve come on loads in terms of skill and presentation (so I reckons anyway), I’ve still not made much of an impact in the wide world, or made any money whatsoever. Maybe i shouldn’t think about it in these terms, after all, if I was in it for the money I’d have jacked it in ages ago, but I would like to have a nice hardback, or something tangible outside of the comics niche market to show for my efforts. I can’t believe that people buy a book by the meerkat off an advert (for £10!) but there’s no money for me. Fair play to whoever does that, but I’d like a bit of that pie. I could probably do with a business manager or something, as I still feel like I’m stabbing away randomly to see what works, but don’t know if I’m giving up too early or wasting my time completely in the first place. Who knows how this works? Give me a ring please.
Good job I’m an optimist eh?
I finished off Banal pig’s Showcase at the beginning of November, and I’m pretty pleased with it, I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and its good to have something new out after a year. This was ready for Thought Bubble– really enjoyed it this year (last years was a bit ruined by the fact I was recovering from food poisoning), sold well and as usual it was well organised and I had a great time with all of my comics chums.
My 5th anniversary celebrations consisted of three competitions which weren’t as popular as I’d hoped, but it was probably worth marking the occasion (wasn’t it?). Maybe I could do a bit more on the internet, Twitter and that but I cant be arsed and my phone doesn’t do it, life’s too short to be kissing arse just to get more followers I reckon.

Anyway, that’s us about up to date, into 2011 I will be publishing my new untitled cat and untitled ape adventure online as I do it. This’ll be a new thing for me, and I think it’ll be interesting to do a linear narrative in chronological order and have a commentary about my working processes as it goes along, especially as I’m not sure of the ending yet or how many pages it will be or whether its in colour or not. We’ll soon see- I intend to start at the end of January and keep going til its done. Hopefully by the time it’s finished I’ll have a publisher and thousands of followers……………….cough…
Also something that will actually see print is the follow up to the best-selling Manly Boys Annual, Comely Girls, which will be more of the same good stuff from myself and Gareth Van Brookes.

As usual, humble thanks for your ongoing support.
kindest regards and fondest best wishes,
Steve xxx

Ah! New look!

That’r right pals, i’m changing up the look of this blog as i’m bored with it. i’m gonna continue to fiddle with it for a bit, but why not look at banal pig’s funnies which is more or less sorted- i changed it to incorporate my forthcoming webcomic (that’s right) which will begin in January! OMG!

newsround

so thought bubble was last saturday, and what a fine time it was! now that i live in leeds and there are zero overheads, it was quite the profitable experience as a vendor, and also good to see all the old faces- shout out to U Raine, Ben Clark, Lando and of course banal pig vice president, Gareth Van Brookes.

here’s a view of my plain display (maybe i should jazz it up one of these days?). As usual, many thanks to everyone who came and bought stuff or chatted, and well done to clark, lisa and everyone else who was organising- job was a good’un.

There was also a pleasant surprise at Thought Bubble as Gareth had got hold of some of the first copies of the comix reader, a fantastic 24 page newspaper anthology of comics in colour, featuring myself, and a plethora of excellent small pressers, all of which you should know about- check the links on the website for more info.

Here’s the cover by Richard Cowdry, who has also edited and compiled it, and done a great job, and the information on the cover is not fooling, this is available for just £1! it’ll be available from the website soon, ive got a couple, or they’re in stock at OK Comics in Leeds.

Speaking of which, i also put some copies of Banal Pigs’ Showcase in OK Comics, so get ’em while they’re hot.

Even more information and pictures to follow….

it’s still in its planning stages, but here’s a sketch idea for my next book. it will feature an epic journey by untitled cat and untitled ape across untold sublime landscapes and so far my research has included giant salmon, woolly mammoths, noah’s ark, the flooding of paris and the mississippi and will probably also have a yeti, an axolotl, a jumbo jet a rainforest and a castle, and maybe the underworld. this is one of those things that i will probably look back and laugh at as the finished book may well have none of the above in it. we’ll see.

also in the works is a long-awaited follow up to manly boys, comely girls which will be the same sort of thing as manly boys, only for girls. Me and Gareth were discussing it at the weekend and hopefully it will see the light of day in the spring/summer, although this may be a bit ambitious, we’ll see about this as well.

lastly, don’t forget to send me a picture of yoursen with a banal pig comic, to win a prize!